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Rights: The University of Waikato
Published 31 May 2010 Referencing Hub media
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Natural Easy Care (NEC) fabric was initially developed at AgResearch for men’s business shirts, but researchers soon recognised its lightweight and easy care properties make it suitable for many other uses. Dr Surinder Tandon explains why the fabric is suitable for other markets including high fashion women’s wear, bed sheets and sleep wear.

Questions to consider:

  • What factors may have contributed to the increase in drape of the new fabric?
  • How does good drape make the fabric suitable for women’s wear?
  • What are the advantages of using wool fibre for bed sheets?
  • Can you think of other useful applications for wool sheets?
  • Are there any disadvantages?
  • Dr Surinder Tandon (AgResearch
    Normally, wool fabrics are not so suitable for women's wear because of their weight and the low drape, and this NEC fabric has excellent lively drape, which makes it suitable for women's dresses and skirts.

    We are targeting the top worsted mills, which produce lightweight suiting fabrics, trouser fabrics, and for the first time ever, they are now able to make very lightweight wool shirting fabric for business purposes. And you can do solid shades, pinstripes and checks in business shirting weights, and they require very little ironing.

    So these are the apparel fabrics, and then just recently, we developed new bed sheeting fabrics, which are ideal for hotels, hospitals, rest homes and also for residential use. And they offer great sleep comfort because of the excellent moisture management properties of wool fabric and also can be used next to skin. There is no itch factor.